Thumbs up and down

Jun. 30, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

THUMBS UP: Senate Bill 127

In the world of politics, it seems rare when people seem to be in unison on matters of interest to a community.

This week, Senate Bill 127 was something in which area citizens are in agreement.

The bill would have split the state into regional economic sites. Initially, Lee County would have been placed in the Charlotte region, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Then, Lee County was going to be grouped in the Fayetteville region.

The final approved SB 127 puts Lee into the North Central Regional Prosperity Zone, which includes the Triangle area. Other counties in the zone include nearby Chatham and Harnett counties, as well as Durham, Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Orange, Person, Vance, Wake and Warren counties.

“To me, that’s a good move,” Lee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlie Parks told The Herald. “We had established relations in [the Raleigh] area that now we won’t have to try to recreate somewhere else.”

As Sanford Mayor Cornelia Olive so aptly states, “It’s a matter of convenience; it’s a matter of familiarity; it’s a matter of common sense.”

Amen.

THUMBS DOWN: 75 MPH

The speed limit on some North Carolina highways was raised to 70 a few years ago, making it a bit quicker, for example – particularly for the lead-footed among us in Lee County – to zip up north on US 1 to Cary, Raleigh or the airport.

But higher speed limits aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. The unwritten, though illegal (and inaccurate) rule of thumb in place on most major highways is the “law of 9,” meaning you can go nine miles per hour over the speed limit and avoid getting ticketed for excess speed. We hit I-40 West late one afternoon a couple of weeks ago and the average speed was closer to 80 or 82 in the 70 mph zone – and that’s if you don’t count the crazy motorcycle riders who weaved in and out of traffic hitting speeds of at least 90.

So we were pleased when the N.C. House voted down a proposal this week that would have directed the state’s department of transportation to study upping the speed limit on some highways to 75 mph. If eventually recommended by both the House and Senate, the 75 mph zones would have been tested on a few roads first. But the outcome would have been predictable: the observed speed limit would likely have pushed well past 80 mph.

Eighty is just too dang fast.

Especially counting the number of texting drivers out there.

THUMBS UP: Robert Logan

Robert Logan, who once served as superintendent of Lee County Schools, has announced that he will be retiring as superintendent of Chatham County Schools in late August.

Logan has distinguished himself as a superintendent,particularly when he was recognized as Regional Superintendent of the Year in 2013. His achievements in Chatham include the fact that all traditional schools in the county demonstrated improved performance composite scores under his leadership, according to a press release announcing his retirement.

We wish Logan well, although his retirement will be short-lived as he has accepted a position as Eastern Division Director of AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a college readiness program.